The multiplexed single molecule immunoassays study, which was partly funded by the National Cancer Institute, successfully demonstrated the capability of measuring multiple proteins simultaneously at the single molecule level using its single molecule arrays (Simoa) technology.

To provide multiplexed detection of proteins, the company developed an approach, which combines single molecule sensitivity of digital enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with bead encoding techniques.

In digital ELISA, proteins will be captured on microscopic beads and they will be labeled with an enzyme, followed by beads isolation in arrays of 50-fL wells (Simoa) and detection of bead-associated enzymatic activity using fluorescence imaging.

This method can measure four cytokines simultaneously in plasma down to low subfemtomolar concentrations, facilitating greater understanding of inflammatory diseases.

Quanterix president and CEO Paul Chapman noted the ability to precisely measure multiple proteins simultaneously is important in several fields, including clinical diagnostics, donated blood screening, and in research across a broad range of therapeutic areas.

"We set out to develop an approach for multiplexed protein measurement in order to provide richer information on the biological status of a sample compared to single protein measurements.

"For example, multiplex detection of cytokine status in chronic inflammatory diseases, like Crohn’s disease, could lead to a better understanding of the molecular basis and lead to improved diagnostics and treatment options for patients," Chapman added.

The study was published in May 2013 by the Royal Society of Chemistry.